This is the second post in my series Conversations with Christine”, which revolve around the issues facing artists who are ready to go pro and make a viable art business.

Conversations with Christine

Part II – Bring Your Own Lamp

To be a professional artist, you must be comfortable with a level of uncertainty and ‘not knowing’ exactly where you’re going – especially in the beginning.

Unlike white collar careers, there’s no graduated set of steps to follow to pursue success.

For example, a lawyer needs to:

->attain a BA honours degree
–>write the LSAT
–> be accepted to law school
–> graduate law school
–> complete articling
–> attend bar admission course
–> pass bar exam
–> apply to Law Society
–> get “called to the Bar” (accepted to Law Society)
–> hopefully already behired by a Law firm when articling… but if not – get hired
–> work hard, get promoted
–> maybe make partner
–> success is determined by the values of your employer.

See how that works? Delineated steps to success. B follows A and so on.

Now throw that all out the window…


©2012 Lezley Davidson

The Art Career is Foggy Indeed

Your art career isn’t going to work like that – at all.

You need to determine where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. There’s no external body determining your goals or setting up markers to delineate your success.

You decide where you’re going, you decide what your terms of success will be. Keep in mind, that where you think you’re going, may not be even close to where you end up.

This is okay, I’m just saying – if this freaks you out, maybe you need to consider something else.

Your Shiny Mind: Your Lamp in the Dark

You’ll have to create your own opportunity, create your own niche, build your own audience. You’ll decide how and where you’ll promote your work. You’ll have to decide your own creative direction, your own ‘business voice’.

Consider all the options available to you to earn money as an artist. Weigh the possible revenue streams.

This is all up to you… and where you think you’re going is almost never a straight line. You may get there, but it’ll take you places you never even considered when you started out.

Bring a lamp – it’s foggy out there.


How have you earned money as an artist that was a surprise to you?
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